New FEMA maps 700 more homes need flood insurance Parish officials will host two meetings next week for parish residents to meet with state and federal officials about new flood insurance requirements, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. said.
Under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) proposed new flood maps, another 700 Iberville Parish homeowners will be required to buy flood insurance in order to be covered, Ourso said. Residents will be able to inspect the maps and ask questions about their insurance needs at community forums from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Monday at the St. Gabriel Community Center and Tuesday at the Carl F. Grant Civic Center.
“Basically, FEMA has done some new mapping that was somewhat of a surprise to us,” the parish president said.“They surveyed the parish again and put areas of the parish that [were] never in a flood zone into a flood zone.”
The parish has sent letters to those affected inviting them to the meetings next week.“It’s nothing the parish did. It’s what FEMA is doing,” Ourso said.
The federal agency is reassessing property throughout south Louisiana because of the storms that have hit the area in recent years, he said. Ourso said the parish has hired engineers Forte & Tablada to represent the parish on the issues.
“If there are some that we could prove that don’t need to be considered, we’re going to do what we can do,” he said. FEMA officials will be able to tell property owners why their property was included in newly-designated flood zones.
“If anybody can prove that the elevation is wrong, they can be taken out.” He said he called for the community meetings because “I don’t want these people to be blindsided by the insurance company.
Meanwhile, Ourso said, more than 300 people in Plaquemine and just under 100 in Grosse Tete have qualified for the “right of entry” program that allows government contractors to remove storm damaged trees that threaten their homes. Once those are completed, work will scheduled in other areas of the parish, he said.
Residents might be eligible for the program if they have broken branches or leaning trees threatening their residences or their access to them. The threat must have been caused by Hurricane Gustav to a private residence that was occupied at the time of the storm.
Homeowners can apply for the “Personal Property Debris Removal” program from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week at the Plaquemine Library at 24605 J. Gerald Berret Boulevard.
They should provide a copy of their most recent Homestead Exemptions. The deadline for applying is Saturday, March 28. Also, he said, FEMA has authorized funding to clean out some 70 trees down by Hurricane Gustav that are hindering navigation in Bayou Plaquemine.
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